Country profile: Finland

Summary figures for 2017

The following information is from the NEA publication Nuclear Energy Data, the annual compilation of official statistics and country reports on nuclear energy in OECD member countries.

Country Number of nuclear power plants connected to the grid Nuclear electricity generation (net TWh) Nuclear percentage of total electricity supply
Finland 4 21.6 (b) 33.2
OECD Europe127774.421.7
OECD Total3111 856.817.6
NEA Total 352 2 062.6 17.9
(b) Preliminary data.

Country report

Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), a non-listed public limited company, owns and operates two nuclear power plant units, Olkiluoto 1 and 2, and is building a new unit, Olkiluoto 3 in Eurajoki, Finland.

Olkiluoto 1 and 2 have generated electricity for over 35 years. In January 2017, TVO filed an application for the renewal of the operating licence of Olkiluoto 1 and 2 until the end of 2038. TVO is making plant modifications to further improve safety in the possible but unlikely case of an accident situation, where several safety systems would be lost simultaneously. The government will review the application in 2018.

TVO was granted a construction licence for the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) pressurised water reactor (EPR) in February 2005. The reactor's thermal output will be 4 300 megawatts (MW) and electric output about 1 600 MW. Most of the OL3 construction works for the plant unit have been completed. The installation of the electrical systems, the instrumentation and control system (I&C) and the mechanical systems has also been completed, and the hot functional tests were ongoing in early 2018. In April 2016, TVO filed an application for the OL3 operating licence and the government will review it in 2018. The loading of the nuclear fuel will take place when TVO has the operating licence.

According to the schedule updated by the supplier in October 2017, regular electricity production in the unit will commence in May 2019. The OL3 plant unit was procured as a fixed-price turnkey project from a consortium formed by Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS and Siemens AG.

In 2007, Fortum Power and Heat Oy (Fortum) received a 20-year operating licence for the two Loviisa pressurised water reactors (PWRs) in operation since 1977 and 1980. Fortum is expecting that both units will have at least a 50-year operational lifetime, extending their service life until the 2030 time frame. Fortum will announce its plans of a possible life extension for the Loviisa plant in the coming years.

Also in 2007, a new company, Fennovoima Oy, initiated a nuclear new build project. This company was created by a consortium of industrial and energy companies with the aim of constructing a new NPP in Finland that could be operational by 2024.

According to the climate and energy strategy adopted by Finland, nuclear power is an option, but the initiatives must come from industry. As stipulated in the Nuclear Energy Act, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) process must be completed before an application for a decision-in-principle (DIP) can be submitted to the government. The TVO and Fortum EIA processes (co-ordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment – MEAE) were completed in 2008 and the Fennovoima process in 2009 and in 2014.

TVO filed its DIP application for the construction of Olkiluoto 4 in April 2008, Fortum for Loviisa 3 in February 2009 and Fennovoima in January 2009. The national nuclear regulator (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority – STUK) had no safety-related objections to any of these projects.

The MEAE processed all five DIP applications during 2009-2010 and the government made its decisions in May 2010. The applications by TVO and Fennovoima were approved, whereas the application by Fortum was rejected, following the government's policy to limit the number of new power plant units to two and reflecting on the fact that Fortum is one of TVO's owners.

TVO's Olkiluoto 4 nuclear power unit project proceeded to the bidding phase. On 25 September 2014, the government rejected TVO's application to extend the validity of the DIP and to set a new deadline to submit the construction licence application. TVO stopped the project in spring 2015.

Fennovoima signed a turnkey plant supply contract for the AES-2006-type VVER reactor to Hanhikivi in Pyhäjoki with Rosatom Overseas in December 2013. At the same time, an integrated Fuel Supply Contract was signed with TVEL to cover the first nine operating years, and a shareholders agreement was signed to sell 34% of Fennovoima's shares to Rosatom Overseas.

Because Rosatom was not mentioned as an alternative in Fennovoima's original DIP application, Fennovoima started a new EIA process in autumn 2013 and submitted it in February 2014. In 2016, Fennovoima started the third EIA process, concentrating on its spent fuel handling since there is no specific plan in this regard. It also submitted, in March 2014, a supplement to the DIP, which was approved by the government in September 2014 and ratified by Parliament in December 2014.

Fennovoima submitted the construction licence application to MEAE at the end of June 2015. The preparatory works have started at the Pyhäjoki site. Fennovoima is planning for the government to review the construction licence application in 2019, after STUK has delivered its safety review of the project.

In 2004, Posiva Oy started the construction of the Onkalo underground rock characterisation facility for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel from the Olkiluoto and Loviisa plants. The facility consists of a tunnel and three shafts extending to the disposal depth. According to these plans, the Onkalo tunnel and shafts will be used as access routes to the actual repository. In 2010, the excavation work reached the planned disposal depth, about 420 metres, and the facility was being used for various tests and experiments related to the host rock properties and the planned engineered barrier system.

In December 2012, Posiva submitted a construction licence application to the government for the disposal facility. The facility consists of an encapsulation plant and the underground repository. The government granted the construction licence on 12 November 2015. This is the first construction licence in the world granted to a final repository of spent fuel.

In December 2016, Posiva started the nuclear safety-related excavation works under the construction licence for the final disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel after STUK issued a decision that Posiva is in a position to launch the construction of the final disposal facility. The facility is planned to begin operations in early 2020, but Posiva must have received an operating licence prior to this date.

Posiva Solutions Oy/Ltd, a subsidiary of Posiva, was established in 2016 to focus on the sales of know-how that Posiva has accumulated from its design, research and development activities in the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, as well as on associated consulting services.

In 2017, Terrafame announced that it could start uranium extraction from the ore produced at its mine (nickel, zinc, copper and cobalt) in the Kainuu region. It submitted an application for uranium exploitation to the government in October 2017, in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Act. The annual production was stated to be 150-250 tons of uranium (yellow cake). The motivation for uranium extraction would be the yellow cake itself, but even more important is the improvement in the quality of the other extraction products of the mine, with nickel sulphide being the most important. The government will review the application in 2018.

Source: Nuclear Energy Data 2018